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Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion

Executive Summary Minnesota currently has a law mandating that 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, by 2025. Some lawmakers have proposed doubling the renewable energy mandate (REM), requiring that 50 percent of our electricity be generated by renewable sources by the year 2030, and Governor Walz has proposed a 100 percent carbon-dioxide-free electric grid by 2050. This report chose to calculate the impact of a 50 percent REM, rather than a 100 percent REM, because research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows using wind, solar, and batteries to achieve 100 percent of...

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Center of the American Experiment Submits Comments in Support of the Twin Metals Lease Renewal

Center of the American Experiment submits the following comments in response to BLM’s call for comments regarding the renewal of mineral leases pertaining to the Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) proposed copper-nickel mine. Center of the American Experiment fully supports the renewal of mineral leases for the TMM project. These comments discuss the massive economic benefits expanded mining would bring to Minnesota, debunk the letter written to the U.S. Forest Service written by Harvard economist James Stock, and emphasizes the strong environmental track record of modern mines....

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The State of Minnesota’s Economy: 2018

Minnesota’s economic growth continues to be unimpressive Executive Summary How is Minnesota performing in terms of economic growth? How is it likely to perform in the future? The picture that emerges is concerning. We find that Minnesota is a hard working but low productivity economy. Our state lags national averages on output per worker, output per hour worked, and per worker GDP and Personal Income. We are only able to achieve above average levels of GDP or Personal Income per capita because of our above average labor force participation rate. This leaves Minnesotans 9.2 percent—$5,800—worse off in per capita GDP terms than they...

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Grasping and Reducing Poverty in Minnesota: Essays in Celebration of John Brandl’s Uncommon Quest for Common Ground

FOREWORD Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D. Dean Humphrey School of Public Affairs University of Minnesota Fifty years ago, and just shortly before his assassination, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King launched the “Poor People’s Campaign” to shine a bright light on the economic injustices that plagued large swaths of the United States. The campaign launched just four years after President Johnson had announced in his 1964 State of the Union Address a “War on Poverty” that ultimately led to Congress passing the Economic Opportunity Act in that same year. We were a nation in economic crisis, and yet this congressional move had seemed a hopeful sign. Sadly,...

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Unearthing Prosperity: How Environmentally Responsible Mining Will Boost Minnesota’s Economy

Executive Summary Minnesota’s unique geology makes the state a treasure trove of mineral resources. In 2017, Minnesota mined $3.18 billion in metals and minerals primarily iron ore, sand and gravel, and dimension stone, making the state the sixth-largest producer of non-fuel minerals in the United States. However, Minnesota’s mining industry could be much larger. In fact, it could be a powerful force for the economy of the entire state. This report evaluates the mining potential of Minnesota and reaches twelve main findings that buttress one conclusion: Minnesota can reap the tremendous economic benefits of mining its mineral resources and enjoy a safe...

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Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree: A 2017 Review in 30 Eclectic Blogs and Commentaries

Foreword John H. Hinderaker President Center of the American Experiment Center of the American Experiment officially launched its “Great Jobs Without a Four Year Degree” project in April 2017. The Great Jobs project is one of the most ambitious, and most important initiatives, ever undertaken by the Center. Its object is to effect, to the greatest degree that we can, a shift in Minnesotans’ thinking about postsecondary education. We seek to promote alternatives to four-year college degrees, both to benefit Minnesota’s young people, many of whom are missing out on exciting, lucrative careers and to boost the state’s economy by creating a better match...

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The Cost of Minnesota’s Estate Tax

Executive Summary Minnesota taxes estates more heavily than most states. It is one of only fourteen states plus the District of Columbia to levy an estate tax. Eight of those fourteen states and the District of Columbia have a higher exemption. Th e state’s starting rate of estate taxation—12 percent—is higher than any of the other jurisdictions that levy one. Its top rate is 16 percent. Only the state of Washington has a higher top rate. Some individuals will take steps to avoid paying the estate tax. There are many legal avenues open to those who wish to do this. They can...

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Restoring a Marriage Norm

View full report.  Introduction Marriage is in decline in America, to the detriment of individuals and society alike, and yet we do essentially nothing about it. In this paper, I contest the common view that little should be done. Among the many causes of the problem, the most important is the erosion of marriage as a norm.  Marriage is still honored in theory, but this value is no longer morally binding. For marriage to recover it must again become a norm that people feel they have to observe. The great fact about expert discussions of marriage is their defeatism.  Most scholars of the subject...

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The State of Minnesota’s Economy: 2017: Performance continues to be lackluster

Executive Summary Money isn’t everything, but a strong and growing economy is vital for many of the things we take for granted living in Minnesota. Without high incomes we would struggle to cope with the harsh winter weather or support the vibrant cultural life we take pride in. Nor would we be able to fund public services such as education and policing. Last year, Center of the American Experiment took an in depth look at Minnesota’s economy, with a report authored by Dr. Joseph Kennedy. A source of pride for many in the state, we found that, in fact, the data showed...

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